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NH State Am Day 3: Long putt on 18 keeps Paradis’s hopes alive; four local golfers move on to Round of 32

  • Matt Paradis watches his putt role toward the fifth hole Tuesday at Hanover Country Club. RICH MIYARA / NHSportsPhotography.com

  • Fletcher Sokol and his caddie watch the flight of his approach on the eighth hole during Day 3 of the New Hampshire Amateur Championship at Hanover Country Club on Tuesday. RICH MIYARA / NHSportsPhotography.com

  • during Day 3 of the New Hampshire Amateur Championship at Hanover Country Club on Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (RICH MIYARA / NHSportsPhotography.com) RICH MIYARA—NHSportsPhotography.com

  • Matt Paradis hits his approach shot on 18, where he birdied and won the hole to force extra holes.during Day 3 of the 115th New Hampshire Amateur Championship at Hanover Country Club on Tuesday, July 10, 2018. RICH MIYARA / NHSportsPhotography.com



Monitor staff
Tuesday, July 10, 2018

HANOVER – A 20-foot putt on the 18th green saved Matthew Paradis’s week at the New Hampshire Amateur Championship on Tuesday.

The Concord Country Club member and Southern New Hampshire University golf standout pumped his fist after nailing the putt at Hanover Country Club, which ultimately forced extra holes with his opponent, Tim Baines (Intervale Country Club). 

Paradis won the match on the second hole of the playoff, sending him to the Round of 32 where he will face Canterbury Woods member Garret Olivar on Wednesday. The pair are scheduled to tee off at 9:04 a.m. Olivar defeated Brett Wilson (The Golf Club of New England), 1-up, on Tuesday.

Sitting in tall grass and above the pin on the second hole of the playoff against Baines, Paradis used a smooth shot with his pitching wedge to put him on the green about 12 feet from the cup. From there, he two-putted to win the match. But the approach from trouble and the match-clinching putts were afterthoughts for Paradis.

His mind was still back on 18.

“That was, I have to say, one of the best putts of my life,” Paradis said. “A 20-footer under that kind of pressure … I was nervous but I got it to go somehow.”

Baines held a one-up lead going to the 18th tee box and was poised to send Paradis, the runner-up in 2017 and 2016, home early. Baines’s approach on the par 5 landed in the rough a couple of feet from the fringe, and his chip put the ball about 10 feet from the hole.

Paradis, meanwhile, saw his approach land in a bunker to the right of the green. His escape didn’t fly as well as he hoped, but it landed safely on the green and set up the 20-foot putt.

“I knew I could make an up-and-down out of the bunker, but I wasn’t pleased with the shot,” he said.

As for the putt, “I could tell it was a foot outside the left,” Paradis said. “I just tried to trust it and get to the hole to give myself a chance and it went right in the back of the cup. Couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

Baines, who never fell behind Paradis through 19 holes, still had a chance to win from 10 feet, but his putt narrowly rolled past the right edge of the hole.

“Hats off to Matt. He’s a hell of a golfer and an even better kid. But this hurts,” Baines said. “In hindsight, I probably would have been a little more aggressive with the chip. I knew no matter what I was going to have that next putt for the win. Even when he made the 20-footer I still had a 10-footer to win the match and I just pushed it a hair.”

Paradis had a share of second place at 6-under-par after two rounds of stroke play on Sunday and Monday. After tallying eight birdies in those first two days, he ran into some trouble Tuesday.

“I put myself out of position on a few tee shots and missed a few greens where I couldn’t miss,” he said. “I made a couple bogeys, and Tim played consistent and made a bunch of pars today. He had me scared all day. I never had the lead until I won it on the last hole. I was just trying to battle and survive and somehow I did.”

Paradis wasn’t the only local player who needed two extra holes to punch his ticket to the next round. Fellow Concord CC member Fletcher Sokul edged Tyler Simpson in 20 holes. He’ll face Brennan Hughes (Stonebridge Country Club) in the Round of 32, teeing off Wednesday at 9:28 a.m.

William Hartigan, also of Concord CC, lost his match with Thomas Hixon (Wentworth By The Sea Golf Club) in another round that stretched to 20 holes.

Belmont’s Jim Cilley (Ridgewood Country Club) had a shorter day on the course, beating Jack Nadeau (Bretwood Golf Course), 4-and-2, allowing him to bypass the 17th and 18th holes. 

“I kind of fought it a little bit today,” Cilley said. “I situationally hit it well. Tee shots (where) you really have to hit well I hit good ones on. The ones I missed I missed in places where I could get away with it.”

Cilley, the 2011 champion, drew a match with Richard Moreau (Sky Meadow Country Club), set to tee off Wednesday at 9:44 a.m.

Laconia Country Club’s William Everett, who nabbed one of the last spots to make the cut in a playoff Monday, appeared to be making a run to upset medalist Pat Pelletier (Carter Country Club). Everett was 2-up through six holes but was back to square after the 10th. Pelletier went on to win, 2-and-1, and will open the Round of 32 on Wednesday at 8 a.m. against Jake Hollander.

AJ Correia, also of Laconia CC, lost his match with 2001 champion Daniel Arvanitis, 2-and-1.

Notes

The field will be cut from 32 to 16 with match play Wednesday morning, followed by another round of match play in the afternoon cutting the field to eight. Quarterfinals and semifinals will be played Thursday. The 36-hole championship match is Friday. … The grand prize $750 in merchandise at the Hanover CC golf shop. The runner-up receives $500 in merchandise.

(Nick Stoico can be reached at nstoico@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @NickStoico.)